Carly-Ann Purcell, 36, lives at Southsea and has been teaching dance for 14 years. She founded Most Wanted Street Dance School in 2007 and Neptune Dance Fitness this year.
NEPTUNE Dance Fitness, my latest venture, is all about empowering women and no, you do not have to be a professional dancer to take part; this is for anyone.
Dance in itself can be extremely empowering.
Dancing can shift your energy from negative to positive; it can help you forget about your problems and help you feel more confident.
It’s fabulously evocative, great exercise and it connects people.
I have always wanted to use dance as a platform towards positive change and positive community cohesion.
This is why I am specifically setting out to build a community where women with a mutual interest can come together, but as well as this become part of a community of empowerment, mutual respect and encouragement.
I want a safe place for women to be able to let go, express themselves, get fit, have fun and make friends.
So why do I think empowering women is so important?
There is still so much disparity between genders in every part of the world.
Every day in the UK women face inequality at work, at home, in politics and in public life.
It’s no wonder women are more prone to self-doubt and face more challenges on the path to leadership than men.
Women get less credit for accomplishments and are more likely to downplay their achievements.
But we can and should toot each other’s horns and we should encourage each other… much more!
These are simple things but they can make a big difference.
A world with gender equality would mean more economical benefits, peace and sustainability.
Basically any movement towards women empowering other women and raised awareness of gender inequality will benefit all.
Having done most things unconventionally, I didn’t start my dance training until later on as an adult.
I grew up in a low-income single-parent home and dance opportunities were not very abundant.
For this I am glad, for it has led me to provide dance opportunities – through the Most Wanted Street Dance School – that I didn’t have when I was growing up. This fills me with happiness.
But there are many fewer dance classes for adults.
Age shouldn’t be a barrier.
I believe that if you want to dance you should dance!
So why not come and join us?
Find us on our Facebook page Neptune Dance Fitness. You can also follow us on Twitter @neptunedancefit.